Date: 8th September 2014 at 10:47am
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This chapter in the Where Are They Now series takes a look at the career of Alan Welsh.

ALAN WELSH – Born 9th July 1947 Edinburgh, Scotland.

Alan began his football career playing junior football with his local club Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic. When he was eighteen in 1965 he moved south to join Millwall.
In the two seasons he spent with them he only made five appearances. It wasn’t until he moved to Torquay in 1967 that his career really took off.

Alan flourished at Plainmoor scoring goals galore from the left wing. In the four years he spent at Torquay he made 146 appearances and scored an impressive, for a winger, 45 goals.
It was his goalscoring ability that brought him to the attention of Argyle manager Ellis Stuttard and after a short negotiation he was on his way to Home Park.

Alan made his Argyle debut on the opening day of the 1972-73 season in a 1-0 defeat at Rotherham. He scored his first goal in the next away game, a 2-2 draw at Chesterfield with Ronnie Brown coming off the bench to score the second goal.
In the next game a 3-1 win at home to Grimsby Alan scored twice after Bobby Saxton had opened the scoring. Ellis Stuttard left the club on 1st October, I can’t remember who was looking after the team but he left Alan out for the game at Charlton, a 3-0 defeat, it was the only game he didn’t play in all season.

Tony Waiters was appointed manager on 11th October and three days later Argyle beat Swansea 3-1 at Home Park with Derek Rickard, Jimmy Hinch and Alan scoring the goals. Alan then scored in an FA Cup second round game at Yeovil, the press built up the non-leaguers chances with their record of success against league teams on their legendary sloping pitch. As it turned out it was a comfortable 2-0 win for Argyle thanks to goals from Mike Dowling and Alan.
His next goals were in a 4-1 win at home to Rotherham with Steve Davey and Alan scoring two each.
In the next away game Argyle thrashed Rochdale 6-0 at Spotland, Derek Rickard and Alan both scored twice with Dave Provan and Les Latcham adding to Rochdale’s misery.
In the next league game Argyle continued to score plenty of goals, this time at Home Park when they beat Charlton 5-0, Derek Rickard got another two goals with Les Latcham, Johnny Hore and Alan scoring one each.

On 23rd April Alan added another two goals to his tally when he scored both goals in a 2-1 win at Wrexham. Alan’s next goal came four days later when he got the second goal in between goals from Neil Hague and Jimmy Hinch in a 3-1 win at Walsall. It was Alan’s thirteenth goal of the season and enough to see him finish as leading goalscorer.

1973-74 continued to be a first team regular, although he had missed two games by the time he scored his first goal of the season in a 3-1 win at Rochdale, after Alan had scored the first, goals from Steve Davey and an own goal secured the points for Argyle.
His next goals came in the League Cup fourth round game at QPR with Argyle defying the odds to come away easy 3-0 winners with Alan scoring twice and Steve Davey getting the third.
In the fifth round it was another away draw, this time at Birmingham, once more they were the underdogs and again they beat opposition from a higher division, with Alan and Steve Davey teaming up again to beat City 2-1. This set up a two legged semi-final clash with Manchester City.
Another Steve Davey goal saw Argyle draw the first leg 1-1 but they unfortunately were beaten 2-0 at Maine Road to end the Wembley dream. Despite playing in 27 of the last 28 games, the second Manchester City game on 30th January was Alan’s last for the club. It came as a bit of a shock for the fans as Alan had rarely missed a game for the eighteen months he had been at the club and he was a popular player with the fans, I can only assume there was a falling out with Tony Waiters.
After making 81 appearances and scoring 18 goals he was sold to Bournemouth.

Alan spent the rest of the season and all of 1974-75 at Dean Court making 35 appearances and scoring three goals.
When his contract ended at Bournemouth he was signed by the club he first played for in England, Millwall.
Alan returned to the Den for the 1975-76 season, and as in his first spell there he was only used occasionally, only making nine appearances and scoring one goal.
At the end of the season without a contract Alan announced his retirement.

After leaving Millwall Alan emigrated to South Africa. Once he had settled there he started playing football again with Cape Town City.
I couldn’t find any trace of Alan returning to England so I assume at 67 he is living in retirement in South Africa.

plymouthvital@aol.co.uk